Alberta's deal with the Devil

Alberta was a windswept peice of desert, a home to more cows than people the joke used to be, just a while back. Then somebody found oil . Oil revenues, then natural gas revenues started to swell the provincial coffers. After a decade or more the govt. was outta the debt it had built up in the past just providing basic services like health care and education.

Then the devil started whispering about how Alberta's land was soaking in oil, millions of acres of tar sands, more oil potential than Saudi Arabia. If Alberta would just prime the pump with development dollars the petro boys could get going. Soon, the whispers said, huge royalties would roll in, Alberta would be rich, tax cuts, jobs for all, a free lunch. So Alberta made its Faustian bargain. Alberta would get the oil, the riches, the jobs, the low taxes, but...the there were costs, the devil has a price, and Alberta's paying.

As the world's #1 source of industrial carbon emmissions, the tar sands and Alberta are at the swiring center of worldwide enviromental condemnation and now lawsuits by big oil to stop market based protests. Then there's the growing importance of the oil sands to the province's financial well-being helps explain Premier Ed Stelmach's refusal to accept calls from environmental groups to slow expansion plans to reduce the growth of greenhouse-gas emissions and the local consequences on land and water

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair

Dark clouds on the horizon, Alberta has a jones, they need more revenue for services for the new oil boom population not less. A few already obscenely rich get richer, the SUVs keep rolling down the US Interstates and Alberta's govt. limps on, now in debt, needing ever more loonies, Albertians now listen to Mephistopheles' whispers of cheap natural gas fom the MacKenzie Delta to fuel the latest tar sands expansion, bonton roulette.

"The interests of the corporation state are to convert all the riches of the earth into dollars."
-William O. Douglas